DRS is rubbish

Feed the dogs: Test cricket is back

The stomach dogs are barking, they must be fed. Their thirst for battle and starving demand for a cricket contest must be appeased. A fiery beginning on a GABBA green top usually satiates their relentless desire, but unscripted events have delayed salvation.

The southern summer does not begin on 1 December, it arrives with the first ball of an Australian Test. Desperate fans crave the moment.

Cans of ice cold beer will be heard cracking across the weather battered southern land this afternoon and couches will get a hammering, because just as hot thunder storms smash the east coast from the Victorian border all the way to Cairns, Adelaide has provided a sparkling blue sky for Test cricket.

Finally the dogs will rest. The scoop of chips and never ending summer snaps into action with four DRS-less Test matches: Brisbane next week, then Melbourne and Sydney.

Recent seismic events are well publicized and although speculation about bouncers and helmet safety may continue in the background, today we move on and get back to watching quality cricket. India arrived in Australia to compete aggressively and attack Australia’s shaky batting order. One billion Indian fans demand it. They will not back down from this intent. Bouncers will be bowled and tactics of torment will be deployed. This will be significant contest.

David Warner has rocketed into action with a run a ball start placing Australia at 2/88 approaching lunch. Rogers and Watson the men out. Clarke is fit and playing and Ryan Harris returns to bolster the bowling, while Virat Kohli assumes the Indian captaincy from the injured MS Dhoni.

Summer is all around you.

Chester le Street, Durham – Fourth Ashes Test

Two days grafting cricket have been played in the fourth Ashes Test in northern England. The match is in the balance and Australia have a slight edge, trailing by a few runs only and with five wickets in hand. Plaudits to Chris Rogers, Australia’s first centurion of the series, other than Michael Clarke. It was always a question of who else when assessing Australia’s batting.

I’ve been quiet on the blog as I’ve been away from home with a group of friends and partners enjoying the fruits of far northern Queensland. I’m sitting at present, in an airport lounge on route home, considering the prospect of a first innings lead for Australia and relishing one topic deserving scrutiny.

Team Changes

So after getting pollaxed at Lords in the second Test Australia put forth a massively improved effort at Old Trafford last week. We pinned down England with the ball, made runs with the bat and were in a significant position of ascendency on the final day, only to be thwarted by inclement weather. Finally we had strung together a collection of good sessions, so what do we do? Change the team.

Not because of fitness concerns or injury, both of which would form reasonable cases for change given the 3 days between this and the last Test. No we didn’t have any fitness issues or injuries, we just seem to dislike continuity and love a revolving door. Not only did we change a successful and well balanced bowling attack, we shuffled the batting order, again.

Jackson Bird is a very promising bowler, but that isn’t the point and I think Starc has a right to feel aggreived at this exclusion. I don’t believe David Warner should open the batting in Test Matches and instead, could become a brilliant middle order destroyer. Clearly, those who matter think otherwise. Warner failed last night and ironically, after a not too long, we ended up four wickets down with former opening pair Rogers and Watson having to dig us out. They put on about 130 together and Watto nailed a 66. People might suggest that batting at 6 helped him achieve that, I’m not convinced.

I just get annoyed at sticking the team in the blender every week and the lack of direction permeating from the camp, especially after we just played well and arguably had an opportunity to stabilise the team environment, which looks about as sound as a straw hut perched somewhere on the San Andreas fault line.

Naturally if we go on and win in Durham some will say I’m a mug and the selectors know best.

On the positive I am really looking forward to tonight’s play and hoping Rogers and Haddin can peel off the deficit and establish a lead. I think, having to bat last, we’ll need at least 100 runs between us and them after the first innings’ are complete.

See you all tomorrow!

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